13-foot-tall Korean mech suit aims to assist with Fukushima cleanup
A Moldovan-American master designer and a Korean robotics company have teamed up to build a giant, 13-foot tall walking mech suit robot that looks like it's just lumbered off the set of Avatar. With fully articulating arms that mimic the pilot's movements, there's more than a touch of the jaeger robots from Pacific Rim in there, too.
You probably don't know Vitaly Bulgarov's name – but you've almost certainly seen his work before. His highly technical, futuristic robot designs have been a key part of recent Terminator, Robocop and Transformers movies, as well as Starcraft and World of Warcraft games.
Now, working with a newly formed company called Korea Future Technology, he's bringing one of his eye-popping designs into real life. Method-1 is a gigantic mech suit standing 13 feet tall, and as well as looking like it's straight out of a video game, it's actually designed to be functional.
The pilot sits in a glassed-in cockpit holding a pair of arm controls, and the robot's arms follow the movements of the pilot's arms as he waves them around in the cockpit.
It's also capable of walking – at least, on flat surfaces – in forward and reverse. In terms of a power source, Method-1 is tethered with a power cable at the moment, as well as hooked to a moving girder on the roof to prevent it from falling over.
Bulgarov says the robot's short-term use cases include industrial indoor applications where tethers won't cause a problem. Another short-term application will see the torso and arms mounted on a wheeled platform with a built-in power source, and this one's slated for clean-up and restoration work at the Fukushima disaster site in Japan.
We're looking forward to speaking with Bulgarov soon, stay tuned for more information – and check out the gallery for a bunch of detail photos.
Source: Vitaly Bulgarov